The Gerund



The gerund is the indefinite and a non-finite verb form that possesses the properties of the noun and the verb. The Gerund  has all functions of nouns, is used with the prepositions and in the possessive form like nouns.  It is created by adding the suffix ing to the base form of a verb.


The Gerund with the properties of Nouns:

The functions of the Gerund:


Swimming is good exercise.


 Direct Object:

I remember reading it.



I am fond of reading.



He had the pleasure of listening her music on the radio.


Part of verbal predicate:

He started working from morning.


Part of nominal predicate:

His greatest pleasure is singing.


Adverbial modifier:

After walking in the park, he went to the swimming pool.


With prepositions:

I think of saying him about it.

We insisted on their coming to the meeting.


Possessive case:

We agreed with the buyer’s paying a part of amount.



The Gerund with the properties of Verbs:

With direct Object:

I remember seeing him.


With the Adverb:

He likes reading aloud.


It’s important to remember that gerunds retain their verb-like properties, such as being able to take direct objects or being modified by adverbs.

However, they function as nouns in a sentence, making them versatile and commonly used constructs in English.




Gerund in different tense and voice forms:


Let’s go through the different forms of gerunds, including the indefinite, perfect, active, and passive forms, along with some examples:


Indefinite Gerund: The indefinite gerund is the basic form of the gerund, which is formed by adding -ing to the base form of the verb.

It is used to express an ongoing action without specifying when the action occurred.

 Examples: Swimming is a fun activity.

(Here, swimming is the indefinite gerund, functioning as the subject of the sentence.)

She enjoys dancing.

(In this sentence, dancing is the indefinite gerund, serving as the direct object of the verb enjoys.)


Perfect Gerund: The perfect gerund is formed by using the auxiliary verb having followed by the past participle of the verb (-ed or irregular past participle).

It indicates that the gerund action happened before another action or at a specific time in the past.

 Examples: Having finished her homework, she went to bed. (The perfect gerund here is having finished, and it shows that the action of finishing the homework happened before the action of going to bed.)

After having studied for weeks, they felt prepared for the exam. (In this sentence, having studied is the perfect gerund, indicating that the studying occurred before the feeling of preparedness.)


Active Gerund:

The active gerund refers to a gerund in its typical active form, where the subject is performing the action expressed by the gerund.

Examples: She likes inviting her friends to her house.

I remember having written to him her new address.

He entered the room without noticing the people here.


Passive Gerund:

The passive gerund indicates that the subject is the receiver of the action expressed by the gerund. It is formed by using the gerund of the verb to be followed by the past participle of the main verb (-ed or irregular past participle).

Examples:  She likes being invited by her friends.

I remember having been written to him.

He entered the room without being noticed.



Gerund with Prepositions:


Gerunds are commonly used after prepositions in English. When a gerund follows a preposition, it acts as the object of the preposition.

Here are some common prepositions that are often followed by gerunds, along with examples:

After: She went for a walk after finishing her work.

Before: Please call me before leaving the office.

By: You can improve your writing skills by practicing regularly.

For: They are famous for creating amazing sculptures.

In: She succeeded in passing the exam.

On: He congratulated her on winning the award.

Without: They cannot imagine life without traveling.

About: We had a long discussion about starting a new business.

At: She laughed at him for telling a funny joke.

Of: The joy of seeing her friends made her happy.

With: They celebrated their success with singing and dancing.

Before/After/Upon + possessive pronoun: Before his leaving, he thanked everyone for their support.

After her finishing the project, she took a well-deserved break.

Upon their arriving, they were warmly welcomed.

In spite of/Despite + gerund: In spite of failing several times, he never gave up.

Despite her being tired, she continued working.

 Instead of + gerund: He chose to go for a walk instead of watching TV.

 On + gerund (indicating the basis for an opinion): On reading the report, they made a decision.

 With + possessive pronoun + gerund (indicating simultaneous actions): With her parents cheering, she performed exceptionally well.


These are just some examples of how gerunds are used after prepositions in English.

Remember that the choice of preposition depends on the context and the specific meaning you want to convey.


Here’s a list of common adjectives, verbs, and adverbs that are commonly used after gerunds:


Adjectives after gerunds:

Good: Swimming is good for your health.

Happy: They were happy about winning the competition.

Nervous: She felt nervous before performing on stage.

Anxious: She was anxious about starting her new job.

Proud: They are proud of achieving their goals.

Guilty: He felt guilty for lying to his friend.



 Verbs with gerunds:

Enjoy: They enjoy hiking in the mountains.

Like: She likes reading books in her free time.

Avoid: He avoids eating sugary foods.

Consider: They are considering taking a cooking class.

Finish: After finishing her work, she went home.




Adverbs with gerunds:

Carefully: He walked carefully, avoiding the slippery path.

Quickly: She finished the race quickly, surprising everyone.

Quietly: The baby slept quietly, not making a sound.

Cautiously: They proceeded cautiously, avoiding potential dangers.

Skillfully: The chef cooked the meal skillfully, impressing the guests.

Happily: They danced happily, celebrating their success.

Easily: She completed the puzzle easily, as she had done it before.

Simply: He explained the concept simply, making it easy to understand.

Constantly: The children were running around constantly, playing games.

Anxiously: They waited anxiously, anticipating the results.



Participle with gerund:

To be surprised at: To be surprised at seeing a shooting star, Mary made a wish.

To be disappointed at: James couldn’t help but be disappointed at not receiving the promotion he had worked hard for.

To be engaged in: Sarah is currently engaged in organizing a charity event for the local community.



This list provides some common examples of adjectives, verbs, participles, and adverbs that are frequently used with gerunds in sentences. Remember that the choice of adjectives, verbs, and adverbs may vary based on the context and the specific action or emotion being expressed in the sentence.


Noun + preposition + gerund:


When a gerund is used with a noun, it typically follows a specific pattern: noun + preposition + gerund.

Here are some common nouns with the prepositions that are often used before gerunds:

Hope of + gerund: His hope of winning the competition kept him motivated.

She expressed her hope of finding a new job soon.


Idea of + gerund: The idea of traveling to exotic places excites me.

They discussed the idea of renovating the house.


Apology for + gerund: She offered her apology for arriving late to the meeting.

He sent an email with an apology for forgetting her birthday.


Preference for + gerund: He has a preference for eating healthy food.

The company has a preference for hiring experienced candidates.


Fear of + gerund: The child had a fear of swimming in deep water.

She admitted her fear of flying in airplanes.


Reason for + gerund:

He explained the reason for canceling the event.

The doctor discussed the reason for avoiding certain foods.


Difficulty in + gerund: He faced difficulty in finding a parking spot.

They encountered difficulty in understanding the complex concept.


Joy of + gerund:

She experienced the joy of winning the first prize.

The kids shared the joy of playing together.


Experience in + gerund:

He has vast experience in managing large teams.

She gained valuable experience in working with diverse communities.


Interest in + gerund:

He showed a keen interest in learning new languages.

The students expressed their interest in participating in the science fair.


Problem with + gerund:

She has a problem with remembering people’s names.

They discussed the problem with finding suitable accommodation.


Success in + gerund:

He found success in winning the championship.

The team celebrated their success in completing the project on time.


Difficulty with + gerund:

The student had difficulty with solving complex math problems.

She faced difficulty with adjusting to the new environment.


Time for + gerund:

It’s time for leaving the office and heading home.

He realized it was time for making important decisions.


Purpose of + gerund:

The purpose of studying diligently is to get good grades.

They discussed the purpose of implementing new policies.


Effect of + gerund:

The effect of drinking too much coffee can lead to insomnia.

She was unaware of the effect of eating certain foods on her health.


Capacity for + gerund:

He demonstrated a great capacity for solving complex problems.

The organization has a limited capacity for accommodating more participants.


Approval of + gerund:

Her parents expressed their approval of pursuing a career in art.

The committee discussed the approval of starting a new project.


Expectation of + gerund:

The company has high expectations of achieving its sales targets.

We have an expectation of finishing the project by next month.


Benefit of + gerund:

Regular exercise has many benefits of improving overall health.

The program provides the benefit of learning new skills.


These are just a few examples of common noun + preposition + gerund combinations. The list is not exhaustive, as there are many other nouns and prepositions that can be used in combination with gerunds to convey various meanings and ideas in English sentences.





Gerund verbs:

Verbs that are used only with gerunds are referred to as gerund verbs or gerund-pattern verbs. These verbs are followed by gerunds and do not take infinitives as their complement.

Here are some examples of gerund verbs:

 Admit: He admitted stealing the money.

 Avoid: She avoids eating sugary foods.

 Consider: They are considering moving to a new city.

 Delay: The team delayed making a decision.

 Enjoy: We enjoy hiking in the mountains.

 Mind: Do you mind helping me with this task?

 Miss: She misses spending time with her family.

  Practice: He practices playing the guitar every day.

  Quit: They quit smoking a year ago.

  Resist: He couldn’t resist teasing his sister.




Dual pattern verbs: Gerund-Infinitive verbs:

Verbs that can be used with both gerunds and infinitives are referred to as dual pattern verbs or gerund-infinitive verbs. The choice between using a gerund or an infinitive after these verbs can sometimes depend on the meaning of the sentence or personal preference. Here are some examples of dual pattern verbs:

Begin: She began studying / to study for the exam.

Start: They started dancing / to dance when the music began.

Like: He likes swimming / to swim in the ocean.

Love: We love traveling / to travel to new places.

Hate: She hates cooking / to cook for large groups.

Continue: He continued reading / to read the book until late at night.

Can’t stand: They can’t stand waiting / to wait in long lines.

Prefer: I prefer walking / to walk rather than taking the bus.

Forget: Don’t forget to buy milk / buying milk on your way home.

Remember: He remembered locking / to lock the door before leaving.


In some cases, there may be a slight difference in meaning when using a gerund or an infinitive after dual pattern verbs. However, in many cases, both forms are interchangeable, and the choice can depend on the context or personal style of the speaker.




Gerundive verbs:


Verbs that form a verbal predicate with a gerund are referred to as gerundive verbs. The gerundive construction acts as a predicate in the sentence and consists of the main verb followed by a gerund. In this construction, the gerund acts as a verbal noun, representing the action or activity associated with the main verb. The gerundive verb conveys the idea of the action as a whole or emphasizes the continuous nature of the action.

Here are some examples of gerundive verbs in sentences:

enjoy + gerund: She enjoys reading books. (The gerund reading acts as the object of the verb enjoy, expressing the activity she enjoys.)

dislike + gerund: They dislike arguing with each other. (The gerund arguing functions as the object of the verb dislike, representing the action they dislike.)

consider + gerund: He is considering taking a vacation. (The gerund taking acts as the object of the verb considering, indicating the action he is contemplating.)

avoid + gerund: She avoids eating junk food. (The gerund eating serves as the object of the verb avoids, expressing the action she avoids.)

imagine + gerund: He can’t imagine living without his phone. (The gerund living functions as the object of the verb imagine, representing the action he can’t envision.)

recommend + gerund: The doctor recommends exercising regularly. (The gerund exercising acts as the object of the verb recommends, indicating the activity being recommended.)

In these examples, the gerundive verbs are followed by gerunds, which serve as the objects of these verbs, representing the actions or activities associated with them. The gerundive construction adds depth and emphasis to the actions expressed by the gerunds and conveys a sense of ongoing or continuous activity.





Gerund with verbs forming verbal predicate:


Here are more verbs that can form a verbal predicate with a gerund:

to finish: She finished painting the artwork.

to stop: They stopped talking when the teacher entered the room.

to keep on: Despite the rain, they kept on running.

to put off: He put off cleaning the garage until the weekend.

to postpone: The meeting was postponed, so they ended up canceling their plans.

to delay: The train delay resulted in them arriving late.

to suggest: He suggested taking a short break.

to mind: Do you mind helping me with this task.

to continue: He continued working on the project.

to prefer: I prefer reading books to watching TV.

to start: They started learning a new language.

to like: She likes playing the piano.

to love: They love traveling to new places.

to begin: He began working on the assignment.

to hate: She hates cleaning the house.


These verbs, when used with gerunds, form the verbal predicate of the sentence, highlighting the ongoing or continuous nature of the actions represented by the gerunds.




Gerund with verbs-worth and busy:


Both worth and busy can function as gerunds in certain sentence structures:

worth + gerund:

The movie is worth watching. (In this sentence, worth watching acts as an adjective phrase modifying the noun movie. The gerund watching represents the action.)

busy + gerund:

She is busy studying for her exams. (Here, busy studying acts as an adjective phrase modifying the pronoun, she. The gerund studying represents the activity she is engaged in.)


In these examples, worth watching and busy studying are both gerunds used in adjective phrases. They add more information to the noun or pronoun they modify, indicating the value or state of the subject with respect to the action represented by the gerund.



Gerund with expressions-it is (of) no use, it is useless, it is no good, it is worth while:


When using gerunds after expressions such as it is (of) no use, it is useless, it is no good, and it is worthwhile, the gerunds serve as the objects of these expressions.

They indicate the activity or action that is being referred to as either useful, useless, good, or worthwhile.

Here are the examples:

It is (of) no use + gerund:

It is no use crying over spilled milk.

Studying without understanding the concepts is of no use.

It is useless + gerund:

It is useless complaining about the weather.

Trying to fix that old computer is useless.

It is no good + gerund:

It is no good waiting for others to do the work.

Eating junk food is no good for your health.

It is worthwhile/It is worth while + gerund:

It is worthwhile visiting the art museum.

Learning a new language is worthwhile.

In these examples, the gerunds crying, complaining, waiting, and visiting act as the objects of the expressions it is (of) no use, it is useless, it is no good, and it is worthwhile/it is worthwhile. The gerunds express the actions that are being described as useful, useless, good, or worthwhile in the context of the sentences.





Gerund as a nominal predicate:

When a gerund functions as a nominal predicate, it acts as the main subject complement in the sentence, renaming or describing the subject. In this case, the gerund takes on the role of a noun, serving as a predicate nominative.

Here’s an example of a gerund as a nominal predicate:

Her favorite activity is swimming.


In this sentence, swimming functions as the nominal predicate, describing the subject Her favorite activity. The gerund swimming acts as a noun, identifying the activity that is her favorite.

Now, let’s look at some common verbs that are used with gerunds in this nominal predicate function:


be: The most common verb used with gerunds as nominal predicates is the verb be (in its various forms: is, am, are, was, were, etc.). It connects the subject to the gerund acting as a noun.

His passion is cooking.

My hobby is reading.


become: The verb become is also frequently used with gerunds to show a transformation or change of state.

The challenge became overcoming her fears.

Her dream is becoming a professional dancer.


seem: The verb seem is used to express the appearance or impression of something, often followed by a gerund to describe the perceived action.

The task seems challenging.

The weather seems improving.


appear: Similar to seem, the verb appear is used to describe the perceived state or action.

The solution appears working.

The situation appears changing.


remain: The verb remain is used to indicate that something continues to be in a particular state, often followed by a gerund.

The problem remains unsolved.

The mystery remains unraveling.


In these examples, the gerunds function as the nominal predicates, providing more information about the subject of the sentence. They act as nouns and serve as complements to the verbs be, become, seem, appear, and remain, linking the subject and the predicate together.



How to identify Gerund?


To demonstrate that a verb form is a gerund, you can look for specific characteristics that distinguish gerunds from other verb forms. Here’s how you can prove it:


For Gerunds in Active Voice:

Look for the -ing form: Gerunds are verbs ending in -ing and function as nouns in sentences.


Identify its role: Gerunds in active voice act as the subject or object of a sentence, or they can be used as the For Gerunds in


Passive Voice:

Look for the -ing form: Gerunds in passive voice also end in –ing and function as nouns.


Check for the passive voice structure: In passive voice, the gerund is formed with being + past participle of the main verb.


By analyzing the verb forms according to the above characteristics and structures, you can confidently identify gerunds in active and passive voice.






click here The Gerund-Non-finite form of the Verbs

click here The Infinitive-Non-Finite form of the Verbs

click here The Indicative Mood – the Active Voice- Finite forms of the Verb

click here Finite and non- finite forms of the Verbs